International students often times when in host countries learn much more than academic studies, especially the ones not included in the brochures.
Rachel and I have quite a few things in common, to begin with we were both from Africa and have a thing or two to say about injustice system in our individual countries so we were always grateful to be in a country where for the most part justice reigns.
Sometimes in early 2000, there was a shooting at Seattle University District in which a police officer killed an unarmed young black male. It was all over the news, lots of people were furious.
At lunch next day, I shared my thoughts with Rachel about the shootings and how I could not believe a cop had to shoot eight times because he had to protect himself from an unarmed member of the public. Rachel response was that we don’t know much about African American history so not to get into it.
I agreed with Rachel however, my point was that no one needed to shoot eight times perforating the stomach and chest with bullets just to be sure the other person didn’t have a gun.
Prior to this day, I had spent 3 terms listening to the horrible deeds of President Mugabe toward white Zimbabweans. Rachel’s family was chased out of their farms, the family had to leave all that they owned and relocated to Scotland – I felt for Rachel. The talks about President Mugabe became our conversation starters whenever we met – I agreed then and even now that the old man is hurting everyone including the blacks he proclaimed to be protecting.
So if I could see your points regarding Mugabe narrow-minded attitude, how hard is it for you to show the same sympathy towards the killing of this young guy? Don’t you see that I could get killed that same way if I happened to be a male?
It is okay and even expected that I voice my opinion against President Mugabe that I don’t know and very unlikely to ever meet but I don’t know African-American history well enough to think killing an unarmed civilian less than a mile from where I lived is irresponsible and demanded justice?
Hatred is powerful and perceived hatred is even more so.
I woke up yesterday morning to the video clip of Mike Brown Killer – Darren Wilson. Watching Officer Darren Wilson admitted to have shot Mike in the head just brought back memory of years ago. What happened to other parts of the body, the wrist, foot, anywhere else that wouldn’t mean immediate end to his life?
Rachel still lives in the US today, she must have seen enough of shoot-to-kill of young black males in the last decade, hopefully, she would remember the talk we had that day.
We all need to see the bigger picture to end racism.
Condolences to Mike’s family and friends.